The greatest single loss due to insufficient TransLink funding (or more directly, the failure of Provincial will to authorize what regional leaders are prepared to support in the way of new funding) is not the Evergreen Line, or the extension of the Millennium Line to Arbutus or UBC, or the docking of the third SeaBus – or any of the single big projects proposed.
It’s the lack of progress on the Frequent Transit Network – a system that would rely heavily on expanded bus service. This is what would make such a difference for those South of the Fraser, for residents in the fastest growing part of our region.
I was reminded of the FTN vision when I read this interview with Matthew Yglesias, an Amercian blogger who comments frequently on urban affairs. And while much of the interview is more relevant to the States than to us, this is one thing that surely applies:
Q. Asked to allocate a billion dollars in funds on anything that falls under the rubric of urban affairs, what would you prioritize?
Better buses! It’s rare that you have a policy issue that can be solved by throwing more money at the problem, but the technology to make bus service more frequent and equip buses with GPS systems that provide real-time schedule updates to bus stops exists and operates in many parts of the world. We should be installing it in our major cities.